BARRY Clay knows all too well the importance of getting regular medical check-ups.
The Bagshot farmer was diagnosed with prostate cancer two-and-a-half-years ago.
He has since undergone a prostatectomy and said a simple appointment with his general practitioner had “saved his life”.
“In March I had a yearly blood test with a GP, who noticed my PSA had increased and suggested I go to a urologist,” he said.
“My urologist didn’t think anything was wrong following an examination, but suggested I have a biopsy anyway.
“A week later I went back to my urologist and discovered I had a cancerous tumour in the right side of my prostate.”
Mr Clay said he was shocked to learn he had cancer and that there had been no warning signs or symptoms.
“Being told I had prostate cancer was a very difficult time for me,” he said. “There is no family history of it that I know of and both my parents lived to well over
90 years old.”
Next week is Men’s Health Week and Mr Clay is calling on men to book in for a check-up.
“It is very important for all men over the age of 40 to see their GP for regular blood tests each year,” he said.
“If you get the all-clear it gives you peace of mind and if not then you find out early about the problem and you can get it treated and move on with your life.”
Mr Clay said there was a growing network of support in the region for men with prostate cancer.
“There is a lot of help and support in Bendigo, whether it is excellent urologists, Bendigo’s own prostate nurse or a men’s health practitioner,” he said.
“We are so lucky in Bendigo to have these specialists for advice, help and support – people shouldn’t be afraid to use them.”